I am very easily bossed around by men with a low, testosterone filled, voice. So easily, in fact, that the other day I almost got lured to a man’s house I didn’t even know.
How did this happen one might ask? Well the truth of the matter is I am on a dating site because I am hopeful and incredibly romantic. Most of the men that I see on the site seem like perfectly nice men but I know that they are not for me. Yesterday, however, a man responded by email that actually looked like a reasonable person who might be fun to hang out with. He suggested we have a phone call.
I called him and we had a very lively conversation for about 40 minutes. During the course of the conversation he informed me that he was quite well known so that I could count on him to behave well. When I googled him I found this to be true.Our conversation was filled with flirty little innuendos on his part and laughter on my part and an increasing feeling of uncomfortableness because of the inappropriate familiarity.It was certainly fun to have someone appear to be so interested in me and to be so intimate in his conversation and so appreciative of my wit and intelligence.
As time went on I began to notice that I felt like I was being cornered in a way that was quite shocking to discover. Because this man seemed so intimate and so knowledgeable about me and my life in such a short time apparently he had some control over me.
Luckily, I was driving to an appointment and I said to him that I needed to get off the phone because I was at my destination. He asked me where I was and I told him and he said that he lived within 10 blocks of that location and after I was done with my appointment I should call him and he would direct me to his house. We would have wine and get to know each other. At this point I was so anxious that I just laughed and said great and hung up the phone.
I went upstairs to see my dear doctor and told him what happened and he said “No, Lucinda, you go to Starbucks.”
I realized how quickly I had fallen into the trap of being the obedient prey of the testosterone filled male. I felt as if I had been drugged for a period of time and without knowing it had gone along with something that was completely insane. The thing that scared me the most was I thought that if I hadn’t had to be at a doctors appointment I would’ve driven to his house as instructed.
Once I had completed my appointment I got into my car and called this man back and said look I’m so sorry I can’t come to your house as I don’t feel comfortable doing so why don’t we meet at Piatti or some local spot that’s convenient to us both and have a glass of wine and get to know each other.
There was an explosion from this man of anger and abuse. He accused me of agreeing to meet him and then saying I wouldn’t. He wouldn’t listen to the reason on my part as to why I felt uncomfortable coming to his house when I had never met him. He belittled me and made no effort to try to find a comfortable place to meet where we both could get to know one another in a normal manner. The more I listened to this, the more I felt frozen. I realized that I felt just like a child: unable to stop him and terrified by the anger I had a provoked in a man I didn’t even know.
All of this happened in under three minutes.
This seemed like slow motion. I find that when these type of things happen I often feel frozen. I knew I should hang up the phone but there’s a part of me that was so scared of doing something wrong. I kept trying to work things out for way too long.
Luckily in this situation I did finally end the call and it was clear to me that he wanted to be sure I knew he was the one that was breaking this off. All I could think of was what would’ve happened if I had gone to his house and had a glass of wine with him?
I have told the story to four or five of my women friends. Friends that I consider to be very wise and very confident and very liberated in their lives. All of them understood my behavior and said that they had done similar things. What was really bewildering to all of us is why that intense and frightening testosterone filled male voice still had the ability to make us do things we would never do.
I’m very grateful that the bottom line for me was that I didn’t go to this man’s house and I have had the time to reflect on the insanity of doing that. It’s also made it much clearer to me the kind of man I want to be with: a man who treats me with gentle compassion and respect and deep and abiding love. We laugh at the world, have each others back and feel cozy but also spicy together. Our conversations are open periods of expression with listening and sharing. Above all we have respect for each other. I know he’s out there somewhere.
Shades of Gray
When you’re a child you think everyone tells the truth.
You think your mother and father will be together forever.
When you see your first divorce it’s kind of like seeing your first accident.
You can’t believe this could happen
Sometimes people stay together because they can’t stand to be alone.
They tell themselves it is for the children
but actually it’s to spare themselves pain.
Sometimes you think it’s better to lie and have maybe three or four different lives and after a while you don’t know which life is real for you.
I’ve known a lot of people like this.
Unfortunately more than one have wanted me to join in but the problem is I don’t see shades of gray.
I like black and white.
You are mine I am yours and that’s it.
Call me crazy but it’s a heck of a lot easier.
“I bought a trailer because I joined a gang.
My feet itched and my rain was shutting
down so I became a nomad
something I’ve always wanted to be.
Some language has a word for it: people
who don’t feel like they belong anywhere.
That’s me. I’m pretty old so I was worried
about camping places
alone. Don’t get me wrong I’ve got two
dogs but they haven’t been trained for
but disobedience which I am fond of.
I am old now so no one would be interested
never knowing that I have a flipstack of cash
stored in my hubcaps: left front and right
I’ve always liked going north.
It doesn’t matter where I start
I just like heading north.
And I like it
Taken from the Missouri Star interview with Lulu Roamer photographed in front of her Teardrop camper
So I was wrong when I wrote that yesterday was Wednesday because today is Wednesday. Who cares? Some friends of mine and I went to visit a retirement community yesterday. It was a necessary day of travel. It was necessary because all three of us are going crazy. We keep looking for places to live when we’re old and some in our group are older than others. Here’s what we want: nice cozy apartment that belong to us, a dining room where everybody is friendly and the food is delicious, a year round pool and a year-round gym and the possibility of having nursing care if you become gaga. And I don’t mean lady. Do you think this is easy to find? Well you’re wrong. Most places we have seen have been incredibly depressing. Even in California there’s no one walking around outside. The places inside are small and claustrophobic and in the dining room everything is painted brown including the Naugahyde chairs. I don’t need a lot because I like to chat up people which is the story of my life. I’ve met several people on airplanes who have become lifelong friends. Now that I’m older I do feel more fragile but still feisty and independent so I know I don’t really want to make a commitment to buy something right now unless I could sell it right away if I didn’t like it. Some of these places give you tests when you try to buy a place to see how long it’s going to be before you totally lose it and they have to pay for you. If someone gave me a test like that I would clearly fail . I have a very hard time taking anything seriously. As you may have read before, I definitely have oppositional defiant disorder. I would be leading revolts and protest marches and sitins in the old age homes if things weren’t up to snuff. If I couldn’t find enough people join me in doing this I would recruit them from the outside world and dress them as members of my community. The whole thing is interesting. How do we live when we are old? I think most women would say they don’t want to stay in their house with their husbands because the husbands by this time are grouchy. Also they require constant feeding.I have a hard time with anyone that requires constant feeding even a goldfish..This may explain why I live alone. Anyway I’m going to visit as many of these places as I possibly can and then I am hoping I’ll find a bunch of people who will want to start our own place. We could buy some property someplace and build a main house with a giant commercial kitchen and a great room where we could all hang out and eat together and play games, maybe even hide and seek,and have a generally convivial time. Then we could all retreat to our individual apartments until we were ready to meet up again. There would be a big vegetable garden and we would have places for young people to live with their families so they’d be happy working on the property and we would get the benefit of seeing the children running around. Worst thing about getting old is being shoveled off to a building where there are only other old people. I think the best thing in the world would be to get old with a bunch of pals in an environment that was young and fun and loving and compassionate. That’s what I’m looking for
It doesn’t really matter what day it is because nobody knows anyway. Maybe bankers know. I don’t know. I don’t really care. I have a weird feeling that things are not going to get better for a really long time. I’m used to my mask by now and in fact I find it quite handy. I could be a bank robber, or an anesthesiologist. I go for the latter. I think there are a lot of people who would be happy to have me put them to sleep right now. I don’t think I’ve eaten any vegetables today. Normally I would know right away what I’ve eaten each day. I don’t really like fruit. We never had fruit in our house growing up. We had six shiny mackintosh apples in a straw basket on top of the red counter in the pantry. They were the only snack we were allowed after school. I hate apples.
I am the last woman on earth.
I live alone in my house and every day I follow the schedule that I have arranged for myself.
That’s my game. It’s the best way to get through this.
Yoga, coffee, meditation, breakfast, look out the window, do the laundry, make the bed, take a shower, take a walk, lie on the floor and wait for the dogs to jump on me, eat stuff from the fridge
after gazing into it awhile. Brush my hair.
Add blush. Add mascara despite considering how long it will take to remove. No lipstick.
Yesterday I considered a small glass of red wine with breakfast.
My neighbor’s new dog barks
enough to make napping problematic.
I drink a lot of tea with half and half
and maple syrup which is tastier than
My garage is a café after 6
and dinner is in white cardboard squares
ready for all of us dreamers who believe
next month will bring hope back and
neighbors come two by two
like passengers on Noah’s Ark
run aground and have a hard time
So how do I feel?
I’m glad for the distraction and for the wine and for the anesthesia. I don’t tell anybody about the hopelessness.
My sister knew everyone in New York. Every couple of weeks she would have a dinner and she would always invite me. I never thought about it at the time but now, looking back, I realize what a generous thing that was.
When I was invited to one of her dinners I felt slightly sick, incredibly lucky, and completely shy.
Sometimes we would go shopping before these events to a special section in Bloomingdale’s where they had amazing designs from a young London woman who created costumes which were perfect for my sister. Generally, they were dresses that extended to the ground and when you lifted your arms in them cascading waterfalls from each arm in colors one had never really seen before fell around you.. In fact, I thought my sister looked like a glamorous bird of paradise.
I loved these shopping trips. I wouldn’t go in the room with her because that would’ve ruined it for me. I sat outside instead on a bench and waited for her reveal. It was always extraordinary and we always knew right away which one was going to be the right one for the night.
I wore the same outfit pretty much to all of her dinners. Jackie Rogers was a designer at the time who had a shop on Madison Avenue and I had spent way too much money on a black chiffon pleated skirt that was slightly transparent. I would wear the skirt with whatever black top I happened to think looked good that night. The best part was getting into the taxi on my way to my sisters and saying “ 7 Gracie Square, please!”
I thought it was the most glamorous thing in the world and surely the taxi driver must realize I was a very important person to be going there.
Once I got to her apartment and she opened the door which she always did And I could hear the hum and buzz of the party within.. I knew what time she would be serving dinner so I always arrived about 15 minutes prior to that time because in doing that I wouldn’t have to spend too much time making small talk which was not my strong point.
My sister would always introduce me to whoever she thought would be fun for me to talk to. One night I met Fran Leibowitz, George Plimpton, and Erica Jong. I felt as if my lips were frozen and certainly I couldn’t have had much of a conversation with any of them but just being in their presence was probably the coolest thing I could’ve imagined.
In those days everyone wanted to have fun. It didn’t really matter what you said or thought but if you laughed and had motion in your thoughts people adored you. Consequently I think I was adored at least by some of my sister’s guests.
It was the first time in my life I actually thought I was interesting. In the 70’s going out meant going out! We got dressed up. We took makeup seriously. We read Women’s Wear Daily and tried very hard to have big hair, beautiful dresses, and a lot of fun and we did.
I remember going to El Morocco which was a night club on 56th St. and the east side with various girlfriends and what I loved most was the staircase entrance. You showed up at the front door and Bart, the doorman, who was always wearing a top hat, would open the door for you and show you immediately to the elevator.
The elevator would take you to the second floor where the ladies room was and you could check your makeup for the 20 billionth time that night. After you exited from the ladies room there was a grand staircase descending in front of you. It was also mirrored on the right hand side to reflect the entire room of people who were dining or drinking. As you descended you knew that all eyes were on you whether for a second or longer. It was the most thrilling experience of my life. Don’t forget, I was all of 22 years old.
Bart, the doorman, often intervened when men became too amorous. I remember one night when my sister and I were going back to her house and one of our admirers wanted to come along with us in the cab. Neither my sister nor I seem to be able to be forceful enough to stop this however Bart took it in stride. It was quite exciting needless to say.
El morocco had been around since my parents were dating and was the most glamorous place people could go. There were black and white zebra skin banquets and palm trees with white feathers hanging over them. It was very important to be seated near the dance floor so you could see everybody and everybody could see you. I was never a Studio 54 girl. El morocco was the place for me. The music was amazing and the food, forgettable. The lady in the ladies room knew everything about everyone. If you were smart you would give her a good tip. Otherwise she might tell people things about you that might be true but weren’t pleasant.
Tonight I have been reflecting on how much fun that time was. The 70’s were a great period. The music was great, the parties were great, people were light hearted and wanted to just flirt and have a good time.
I was saying to my sister tonight how much I appreciated her support and friendship during those years and how it had made all the difference for me in my life. I am so grateful for all those memories of her apartment, all those interesting people, the food, the wine and the ambiance. I felt safe there.
I felt like nobody was going to say anything mean to me and everyone was going to protect me. She was the perfect older sister. Without sounding sappy, she was good to me. I don’t think people enjoy life in the same way that we did then in today’s world. Even when Covid leaves I don’t think young people have as much fun. It’s too bad.
It’s too bad because in those moments you could forget anything that was going on in the world and just listen to music, listen to the beat, look into the eyes of some interesting person and have a wonderful night.
I forgot how long winter is.
It doesn’t extend from November to March
as it should but it’s disobedient and sometimes hides inside a heart and a chamber to the left or to the right and there you are with only a part of your heart functioning because of winter or it’s a fact. You think it will get better but in fact you’re wrong because once something is frozen it’s never the same. Even a hamburger isn’t as flavorful once defrosted. I used to think that people could learn over time that frostbite prevented circulation and thus freedom however experience has taught me that if you let something freeze it can never really be brought back to life appropriately again.